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For eating bat soup in a viral video, a Thai lady may receive up to five years in prison.

 For eating bat soup in a viral video, a Thai lady may receive up to five years in prison

For eating bat soup in a viral video, a Thai lady may receive up to five years in prison.

After publishing a video of herself eating bat soup on her Facebook page on Monday, a Thai woman was detained.

In the Sakhon Nakhon province of Thailand, Phonchanok Srisunaklua, who gave her name as Khru (teacher) Jui in her video, faces up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to 500,000 baht (roughly $13,800) for possessing carcasses of protected wildlife and for offences against the Computer Crimes Act (2007).

The video was released by Srisunaklua, a teacher who also has 392,000 followers on her Facebook page Kin Saeb Nua Nua (Eating it Delicious and Hot).

The smaller Asiatic yellow bats' wings are shown being fanned out in the video by Srisunaklua before being torn apart and eaten. She apparently purchased the bats from a market in northern Thailand, close to the Laos border, where bats with the virus most similar to SARS-CoV-2 are also common.

The woman praised the "delicious" taste of the bat that she had cooked in a cup of hot soup. She allegedly said that it was her first time eating a bat, noting that the creature's skin was sticky and its nails smelt like rats. She assured viewers that she wasn't spreading any coronavirus because people in her neighbourhood also eat bats.

She was chastised for putting the world at danger of a new illness epidemic by many viewers who found the video frightening.

"Die alone if you're going to. Nobody will accuse you. But if you spark a pandemic, you'll be condemned," one viewer allegedly commented.

In her post from Monday, Srisunaklua noted that the video had been taken two days earlier and that she was "still alive."

The Department of Disease Control (DDC) issued a public health advisory not to consume bats after the video went viral because of potential health risks. The director of the DDC's Epidemiology Division, Dr. Chakkarat Pittayawong-anont, said that bats can readily transmit illnesses to people and that even their excrement may cause lung infections.

"When I first saw it in the trailer, I was astonished. It is extremely unsafe practise, especially given that bats contain many infections, and the occurrence should not have happened in Thailand or anywhere else in the globe. There is no proof that the germs will be actually killed by the hot water temperature. According to veterinarian Pattaraphon Manee-on of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation, even lightly touching saliva, blood, or the skin carries a risk.

Bats are protected creatures, thus in addition to the worry about the sickness in bats, this woman may also be in violation of the Preservation and Protection of Wildlife Act, B.E. 2019, he continued.

According to reports, Kaset Sutecha, a lecturer at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Kasetsart University, claimed on Tuesday that more than 60 different virus types that can infect humans have been found in bats. He said that bats were the primary source of human infection by the Wuhan, China-born Sars-CoV-2 virus.